Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/9

Game 1: Saturday, November 9th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 11th
Game 3: Sunday, February 2nd
Game 4: Wednesday, March 5th

    Coverage: FSRM

    7:00 PM ET, December 11, 2002

    1 2 3 4 T
    DEN 15 22 31 2593
    MEM 27 24 24 2196

    Top Performers

    Denver: D. Harvey 23 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Memphis: J. Williams 16 Pts, 4 Reb, 9 Ast

    Williams' last-minute flurry spoils Nuggets' rally

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Despite blowing a lead that peaked at 16, Jason Williams wouldn't let the Grizzlies lose.


    Williams scored five of his 16 points in the final 36 seconds Wednesday night to lead the Memphis Grizzlies past the Denver Nuggets 96-93.

    "I learned my first year in the (NBA) that in two days nobody will know whether this was a 3-point or a 15-point win,'' Grizzlies coach Hubie Brown said. "The main thing in the NBA is to get the W. By one point or whatever, just be happy with the win.''

    Williams' 3-pointer with 35.2 seconds left tied the game, 93-93. His two free throws 10 seconds later gave Memphis the lead for good, 95-93. Williams had missed Memphis' previous three games with a hip injury.

    The Grizzlies point guard blew a layup with 1:30 left, but had another opportunity a minute later.

    "I got a chance to redeem myself,'' Williams said. "I told myself if I got the ball, I was going to shoot it.''

    Pau Gasol led six Grizzlies in double figures with 18, Drew Gooden, Lorenzen Wright and Wesley Person scored 14 each and Stromile Swift had 10. Williams had nine assists to go with his 16 points, while Gasol had 10 rebounds.

    Denver, which lost for the sixth time in seven games, was led by Donnell Harvey's 23 points and 22 from Juwan Howard. James Posey added 14.

    The Nuggets took an 87-86 lead -- their first of the game -- on a 3-pointer from the top of the key by Chris Whitney with 3:31 left. Howard's 8-footer with 1:09 left, and two free throws by Whitney with 43.7 seconds left, gave Denver a 93-90 lead, setting the stage for Williams' scoring down the stretch.

    The Grizzlies led 51-37 at the half after Denver shot just 37 percent. Most of the poor shooting came in the first period when the Nuggets' 6-of-22 effort resulted in 15 points _ six by Howard and nine by Harvey. Every other member of the Nuggets was scoreless.

    "The first quarter really killed us,'' Howard said. "It hurt us, but we tried to battle back. And although we didn't pull off the win, we played with poise under pressure.''

    "We have to get off to a much better start,'' Denver coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "We played a lot of rookies, and this gives us great hope for the future.''

    In the third, Denver made small runs, eventually cutting its deficit to five at one point. Harvey led Denver's fourth-quarter comeback with 10 points in the period, including eight straight at one point.

    Wright said the key to Memphis' winning streak is the rotation of players Brown is using. It made a difference when things got tight at the end.

    "We let them come back and get the lead,'' Wright said. "But we kept fighting and ended up winning the game. That's all that matters.

    "You learn you're not going to beat everybody by 10 or 20 points every night. Sometimes you have to win by one, two or three points. This was a test for us, and we passed.''

    Game notes

    Whitney started after missing Monday's loss to Minnesota due to a family emergency. ... Whitney left the game with 3:47 remaining in the half after having a tooth jammed into his gum in a collision with Nene Hilario. Whitney returned in the second half ... Memphis point guard Brevin Knight sat out the game with a foot injury ... Shane Battier missed his fourth game with a leg infection. ... Denver's 93 points marked only the fourth time this season the Nuggets have scored more than 90. ...Denver has lost its last 18 straight games on Wednesdays. The Nuggets last won a Wednesday game on April 18, 2001 against Sacramento. ...Memphis now holds an 8-7 advantage over the Nuggets at home, but trails in the overall series 10-20. ...Denver outrebounded Memphis 46-38, the first time they have outrebounded a team in nine games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 93 96
    FGM-FGA 41-89 (.461) 32-67 (.478)
    3PM-3PA 2-11 (.182) 9-14 (.643)
    FTM-FTA 9-15 (.600) 23-31 (.742)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 17-46 7-38
    Assists 23 20
    Turnovers 16 21
    Steals 12 6
    Blocks 2 8
    Fast Break Points 4 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (0/0) 18 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Donnell Harvey Harvey
    Points: 23
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1
    Jason Williams Williams
    Points: 16
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 9
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0